Ciao! We've Found A Truly Authentic Italian Trattoria Experience
Five Reasons Why You & Your Family Will Love Al Fresco
Rarely in Dubai do you meet a chef who is actually from the country where the cuisine was invented but here in one of Dubai's oldest hotels to grace the Sheikh Zayed Road, Chef Gabriele comes from a small village just outside of Milano and boy does it show!
Al Fresco is what we call a proper, honest, trattoria. It isn't 'stylish' it isn't 'trendy' and we don't think the decor has changed in over twenty years but you don't go to Al Fresco for the environs. You have to go for the food. Italian food lovers of all ages and sizes will not be disappointed in this authentic, Italian restaurant because Gabriele and his team insist on real Italian dishes with clever twists. And what's great is that throughout September there is an incredible 'Black Truffle' promotion and you should go and try it!
The food is exquisite as you will see from our pictures.
So what makes this eatery so good, apart from the real Italian chef?
1. Real Italian Sourced Ingredients, Just Like Mama Has!
All of the pasta is homemade from the finest flour flown in from Italy, the pizza base is a secret homemade recipe Gabriele brought with him from his home town. And boy what a difference it makes. We kicked off our truffle extravaganza with the Burrata e Tartufo con concasse di pomodori, pane croccante e salsa di Modena, or Truffle and burrata with tomato concasse,crispy bread and Modena dressing. It was very delicate, light and refreshing. We washed it down with a crisp, white PInot Grigio.
2. Italian Dishes Created With Flair And Passion
If we at Lovin Dubai could eat just one thing every day for the rest of our lives, it would very possibly be this dish. Which was the best pasta dish we've eaten ever, full stop. Homemade, agnolotti ravioli filled with buffalo mozzarella and parmesan cream with sun dried tomatoes and basil was incredible. Soft, creamy, this dish made us all purr with delight.
3. Passionate Team
When Chef Gabriele visits your table you can tell this is a man who loves his craft. He is deeply passionate about what he puts on the table and in his dishes and this comes through in what you eat. The main menu is full of Italian classics like Risotto Funghi and Lobster Spaghetti and although we didn't get to taste these particular dishes we saw them come out and they looked spectacular. We did try the Braised Beef Cheeks in Valpollicella with Polenta and Pizza Jamon with Green Chillies. They were both fabulous. This we washed down with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.
4. Great Place For Family Meal
A rustic restaurant, that is great value for money where you don't have to dress formally makes for a fabulous place to take all the family. Whilst we were dining the restaurant filled up with several families and couples who were after great value for money. The wine list won't break the bank, although we felt it could do with more wine from Italy to compliment the outstanding Italian menu, you can easily dine for a family of four here and please everyone.
5. Chocolate Truffle Creme Brulee
You must visit Al Fresco just to try this outstanding desert, beautifully creamy and rich this one dish could easily be shared by two or more people as the portion size is very generous. it didn't last long and afterwards we needed the crisp, fresh lemon sorbet to cleanse our palate.
We were pleasantly surprised by Al Fresco, we hadn't visited in over four years and although the decor might seem old fashioned we think it has authentic trattoria charm. It doesn't try to be anything its not and serves beautiful, delicious Italian fare at a great price. Hurry down there to check out the truffle promotion and say hi to Chef Gabriele from us, he's really a true artist and Italian cuisine aficionado.
Situated on the second floor of the Crowne Plaza, Al Fresco is open 12pm to 11pm.
Price: Average - 360 AED for two people.